Successful marketing requires
timely and relevant market information. An inexpensive research program, based on questionnaires given to
current or prospective customers, can often uncover dissatisfaction or possible new products or services.
Market research will also identify trends that affect sales and profitability. Population shifts, legal
developments, and the local economic situation should be monitored to quickly identify problems and opportunities.
It is also important to keep up with competitors' market strategies.
A marketing strategy identifies
customer groups which a particular business can better serve than its target competitors, and tailors product
offerings, prices, distribution, promotional efforts, and services toward those segments. Ideally, the strategy
should address unmet customer needs that offer adequate potential profitability. A good strategy helps a
business focus on the target markets it can serve best.
Owners of small businesses
usually have limited resources to spend on marketing. Concentrating their efforts on one or a few key market
segments - target marketing - gets the most return from small investments. There are two methods used to segment
segmentation: Specializing in serving the
needs of customers in a particular geographical area. For example, a neighborhood convenience store may send
advertisements only to people living within one-half mile of the store.
Customer segmentation: Identifying those people most likely to buy the product or service and targeting
Managing the Market Mix
Every marketing program contains
four key components:
Products and Services